The Sacramento Kings may have failed to sign erstwhile restricted free agent Zach LaVine, but the team appears to be going for a consolation prize of sorts in another restricted free agent, forward/guard Rodney Hood.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the Kings might be going for Hood, who split last season with the Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 14.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in a mostly off-the-bench role. Citing league sources, Sacramento Bee writer Jason Jones noted that the Kings have “shown interest” in the 25-year-old Hood and have had talks with him, but these talks haven’t reached a point where Sacramento is close to offering him a contract.
As recalled by Bleacher Report, Hood’s decent 2017-18 numbers belied the struggles he experienced after joining the Cavaliers midway through the season. Despite being brought in as a “key role player,” Hood was seldom used in the playoffs and had admitted to having lost confidence prior to his 15-point performance in Game 3 of this year’s NBA Finals.
The rumors of Rodney Hood possibly joining the Sacramento Kings come three days after the team presented a four-year, $78 million offer sheet to Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, only for the Bulls to announce their plans to match the offer, and officially match it on Sunday. LaVine, 23, was limited to only 24 games in the 2017-18 season due to injuries but averaged a solid 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists for the team.
Had LaVine signed with the Kings, that would have given them another young guard to add to their already youthful backcourt, which includes point guard De’Aaron Fox and shooting guards Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Although Rodney Hood mostly played shooting guard for the Jazz and Cavs in the 2017-18 season, the Sacramento Bee posited that he could fill a need at small forward and contribute with his strong scoring and playmaking skills if he signs with the Kings, who selected power forward Marvin Bagley III at second overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. Currently, the Kings have second-year player Justin Jackson at small forward, as well as a number of guards, including Bogdanovic, who could fill in at the position if Sacramento isn’t able to add anyone of note during the offseason.
Aside from Rodney Hood, the Sacramento Kings were also reported to be planning to sign Orlando Magic wingman Mario Hezonja to shore up their need at small forward, though Hezonja ended up accepting a one-year contract with the New York Knicks for “less money” than what the Kings offered, according to the Sacramento Bee.